Merger and acquisition activity in the cryptocurrency industry more than doubled between 2019 and last year, according to a bi-annual report by the consultancy PwC. 

Over $1.1 billion worth of deals were done last year compared to $481 million in 2019, representing growth of over 130%, the consultancy found. 

The M&A boom is set to continue this year, which will likely set a new record for deal-making activity in the sector, the report's lead author, Henri Arslanian, told Bloomberg

"[2021] is already on track to significantly surpass [2020] from every single metric," Arslanian said. 

The report expects M&A activity this year to be driven by large institutions who will enter the sector through investing in or outright acquiring crypto companies. 

As new institutional players enter the market, incumbents will continue to consolidate, the report said. Existing firms will seek to acquire companies offering ancillary services, like news and data publishers, compliance firms and research providers. 

The number of crypto deals continues to shift away from the Americas, with 60% of transactions taking place in the Asia Pacific and Europe and Middle East regions, according to the report. 

However, the most valuable transactions are still centered on the Americas, with over 70% of deal value, worth $785 million, found in transactions there.

Trading and exchange infrastructure was the focus of deal-making activity, representing 42% of all the transactions. These tended to be existing firms acquiring competitors to expand their market share, the report said. 

Among the largest deals of 2020 were the acquisition of data provider CoinMarketCap for $400 million in March by the largest crypto exchange Binance; the FTX exchange's purchase of retail portfolio app Blockfolio for $150 million in August; and Coinbase buying trading infrastructure firm Tagomi for $75 million in May.